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Christchurch Parking Meter With A Difference

Parking meter with a difference unlocking Christchurch’s best kept secrets

A repurposed parking meter in Cathedral Square has started issuing tickets of a very different kind.

Coralie Winn, Gap Filler Co-Founder, says the parking meter issues free inner-city adventures that are helping to unlock our city’s best secrets.

“The Open City parking meter delivers you your own Christchurch secret to locate and explore. It might be a good climbing tree in the Botanic Gardens, an interesting courtyard within a new building, or a great place to feed the eels,” says Coralie.

“These little secrets and more have been suggested by locals as well as visitors. Each adventure helps you get to know your city better through someone else’s eyes.”

Coralie says Open City is all about celebrating the undervalued, sweet, free things to do in Christchurch.

“At the heart of this project is questioning how we give value to things in our city; very often the things we value the most don’t cost money.”

Open City is a collaboration between Gap Filler and the All Right? campaign. Sue Turner, All Right? manager, says Open City will help Cantabrians reconnect with their city.

“As more and more people return to our city centre it’s important to find ways to help them reconnect with a place that’s now very different from what it was pre-quake. One of the best ways to do this is sharing people’s own ideas on great things to do in our city.”

Sue says each activity aligns with one of the Five Ways to Wellbeing - connect, take notice, give, be active and keep learning. These actions are scientifically-proven to improve wellbeing.

A key part of the Open City project is encouraging Christchurch locals to contribute their own ideas of sweet, free things they love about Christchurch.

“The Open City website allows anyone to upload their favourite sweet, free things to do city-wide. If it’s an activity within the four avenues it could be issued by the Open City parking meter,” says Sue.

“We really want to encourage people to add their Christchurch secret gems to the website. The key thing is they must be free.”

Sue says she is expecting the Open City parking meter to be very popular with families these school holidays.

“It’s a great, free family activity for the holidays. There are already 50 great secrets to explore, none of them cost a cent, and they all help you get your family outside and out of the house!”

Coralie says that Gap Filler projects are no longer just about vacant sites and empty buildings.

“They’re about bringing new ideas and creative projects to life in the city to keep it fun, interesting and accessible as it rebuilds. And our projects are about experimenting in public space as they always have been. I think most of us can agree that we want Christchurch to continue to be known for its creative, innovative ideas. That’s good for everyone.”

“We’re starting off with one parking meter in the Square” says Coralie. “If the project is successful, we will look at having more parking meters around Christchurch. There’s also the potential for this project to expand to other cities around New Zealand in the future as it’s an easily adaptable concept and format.”


ENDS


Key Info:

The project will initially run until mid 2018.

The parking meter only issues tickets for activities in the Four Avenues. It is free to use.

City-wide activities can be accessed via the website and also uploaded. Activities must be free. And sweet!

For more information, and to add your own favourite sweet, free thing to do, go to www.opencity.org.nz


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